Changing Media, Homes and Households : Cultures, Technologies and Meanings book cover
1st Edition

Changing Media, Homes and Households
Cultures, Technologies and Meanings

ISBN 9781138791602
Published April 18, 2016 by Routledge
202 Pages

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Book Description

Media technologies have played a central role in shaping ideas about home life over the last two centuries. Changing Media, Homes and Households explores the complex relationship between home, householders, families and media technologies by charting the evolution of the media-rich home, from the early twentieth century to the present.

Moving beyond a narrow focus on media texts, production and audiences, Deborah Chambers investigates the physical presence of media objects in the home and their symbolic importance for home life. The book identifies the role of home-based media in altering relationships between home, leisure, work and the outside world in the context of entertainment, communication and work. It assesses whether domestic media are transforming or reinforcing traditional identities and relations of gender, generation, class and migrancy.

Mediatisation theory is employed to assess the domestication of media and media saturation of home life in the context of wider global changes. The author also develops the concept of media imaginaries to explain the role of public discourses in shaping changing meanings, values and uses of domestic media. Framed within these approaches, four chapters also provide in-depth case studies of the processes involved in media’s home adoption: early television design, family-centred video gaming, the domestication of tablet computers, and the shift from "smart homes" to today’s "connected" homes.

This is an ideal text for students and researchers interested in media and cultural studies, communication, and sociology.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Early Television
  3. The Domestication of Media Technology
  4. Mediatised Childhoods and Media Parenting
  5. From Arcade to Family-Centred Video Gaming
  6. Touchscreen Homes and the Domestication of the Computer Tablet
  7. "Home", Belonging and Media Engagement Among Migrants and Transnational Families
  8. Homes of the Future: From Smart Homes to Connected Homes
  9. The Mediatised Home

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Deborah Chambers is Professor Media and Cultural Studies at Newcastle University. Her previous publications include Social Media and Personal Relationships (2013); A Sociology of Family Life (2012); New Social Ties (2006); Women and Journalism (2004) with Linda Steiner and Carol Fleming; Representing the Family (2001).


"Deborah Chambers’ new book answers a desperate need to understand the way media continually reshapes the domestic realm. At a time when our homes are populated by devices that have revolutionised our connections to the world, she provides us with astute histories and lucid maps for understanding this new situation, and she does so with intelligence and verve."

Ben Highmore, Professor of Cultural Studies (Media and Film), University of Sussex

"This new book is to be welcomed both as a critical review of and a valuable contribution to the academic literature on media-in-domestic-lives. Chambers offers a discussion of key concepts and research findings in this area, whilst underlining the importance of studying media technologies in their social and historical contexts."

Shaun Moores, Professor of Media and Communications, University of Sunderland

"This book makes strikingly clear what has too often been underplayed in the largely disconnected trajectories of household studies and media studies: that homes and media have, in the modern era, been deeply intertwined. Chambers traces, across historical periods and technological innovations, how media came to penetrate homes, and how homes determine the way media is understood: just as media has been domesticated, the home has been mediatised."

Anna Cristina Pertierra, Senior Lecturer in Cultural and Social Analysis, University of Western Sydney